Mold exists all around us – on surfaces in our homes, schools, and workplaces and in the air everywhere we go. Mold is a type of fungi that is found outdoors and indoors, and although it thrives in warm and moist conditions, it can also survive harsh dry conditions too.
Since mold exposure can seriously impact your health, let’s take a look at the symptoms, treatments, and prevention strategies.
Symptoms of Mold Exposure
Some people are more sensitive to mold than others, and some individuals even have severe mold allergies. One of the most severe conditions that can be caused by mold is obstructive lung disease, which involves a mold infection in the lungs.
Inhalation is the most common way to be exposed to mold, but you can also become exposed through skin contact and ingestion. These are some of the most common symptoms of mold exposure and allergies.
- Stuffy nose
- Irritated eyes
- Irritated skin
- Wheezing and coughing
- Shortness of breath
Where Mold is Commonly Found
Damp and shaded areas with high humidity are the most common places that mold is found. Basements and showers are common places inside the home that mold forms.
Other high mold exposure locations include construction zones, antique shops, greenhouses, and saunas. Mold also comes in from the outside by attaching itself to shoes and pets. This is especially problematic in areas that have experienced a recent flood or hurricane.
How to Control and Prevent Mold
Inside the home, you can help control the growth of mold by ventilating your shower and cooking areas and repairing water leaks as soon as you notice them. Keep the humidity levels as low as possible in your home with an air conditioner or dehumidifier, especially during humid times of year.
Bathrooms and basements are best left un-carpeted to prevent mold growth, and drenched carpets and household fabrics should be promptly dried or replaced. Going forward, make sure that your home is properly ventilated in all rooms and that your clothes dryer vents outside of your space. And speaking of laundry, make sure to always remove clothes promptly from the washing machine, and never put them away in drawers or closets while still damp.
Cleaning Up Mold
It’s not enough to simply clean up mold; you must also prevent it from reforming in the future. For mild cases of mold, one common treatment is to create a bleach solution with a cup of household laundry bleach and a gallon of water. If you go this route, make sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear and open windows to let fresh air inside. However, widespread mold problems are often best handled by a professional.
Natural Treatments for Mold Exposure
Irritations and allergies are a natural response to mold spores, and many people turn to antihistamines and decongestants to treat their symptoms. However, these types of medications can but a strain on your immune system and cause unwanted side effects.
One natural way to restore your immune system after mold exposure is to adjust your diet. Avoid fermented foods while you’re recovering from mold exposure because they can make the symptoms worse. This includes avoiding cheese, mushrooms, bread, and red wine as much as possible. Probiotics can also help fill your GI tract with beneficial bacteria that keeps harmful bacteria, mold, and yeast in check.
There are also some herbs that have anti-fungal properties that may help you recover from these symptoms These include garlic, tea tree oil, and oregano oil. And before heading outside, check your local allergen forecast and avoid tasks that put you at risk on high mold spore count days. It’s also a smart idea to wear a mask while doing yard work at any time of year to avoid inhaling mold from the outdoor environment.
Keep your home surfaces extra clean using Seagate’s Olive Leaf Surface Cleaner.
An additional resource you might like to read about mold and its removal is a blog by diygorilla.